JMU drops fourth straight
Forward Jamelle Hagins and guard Devon Saddler posted 23 and 22 points, respectively, as Delaware held off James Madison’s second-half charge to post an 85-80 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball win on Saturday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center.
Delaware improved to 11-12 overall and 7-6 in the CAA while JMU dropped to 10-15 overall and 3-10 in the league with its fourth straight loss.
Hagins finished with a career-high 23 points and 18 rebounds for 12th double-double of the season to go along with four blocks. He was 7-for-12 from the field and 9-for-13 at the foul line. Saddler added 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Jarvis Threatt and Kyle Anderson chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Blue Hens.
Redshirt junior A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community) posted a career-high 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-7 from the arc. Senior guard Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) added 17 points and shot 7-for-10 from the field while junior guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) totaled 16 points, five boards and four assists. Junior forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) chipped in 11 points.
Delaware never trailed in the game, building a lead as large as 11 points in the first half and leading by eight at the break, 44-36. JMU made a pair of second-half charges but each time came one basket short of taking the lead.
The Dukes whittled down the lead to one point at 53-52 on a jumper by Moore with 13:34 remaining. However, Delaware quickly reeled off nine straight points to make it 62-52 at the 10:27 mark.
JMU again fired back as a 10-2 stretch in just two and a half minutes made it a two-point game, 64-62. Delaware got a three-point play from Threatt at the eight-minute media timeout, but Moore responded with a three to keep it a two-point game.
Madison kept the score within five points over the next five minutes but could never get the combination of big defensive stop and an offensive conversion to tie or take the lead. After a layup by Davis made it 68-67 with 5:25 to go, the Dukes did not hit a field goal until a Hitchens three cut it to 77-74 with 37.8 seconds on the clock. The Blue Hens then went 8-for-8 at the free throw line down the stretch to finish the 85-80 triumph.
Both teams shot 46 percent from the floor and at least 50 percent from the arc. Delaware made 7-of-14 from long distance while the Dukes gained an advantage with their 12-for-23 showing from long range. However, the Blue Hens were able to take control with a 24-for-32 showing at the charity stripe, compared to 10-for-11 (91 percent) for the Dukes.
Both teams were hot from the opening tip with both shooting over 50 percent until the final minutes of the period. Delaware grabbed the early momentum and raced out to a 21-14 lead in the first six minutes. The Blue Hens led 28-23 when Saddler picked up his second foul with 14 points at the 8:09 mark.
With their leading scorer sidelined, the Hens continued to build the lead. With the score at 36-31, Delaware held JMU scoreless for four and a half minutes to increase the lead to its largest of the half at 42-31 with 1:47 remaining. The Dukes managed to close the margin to 44-36 at the break.
Davis led all players with 16 in the half while Hitchens added 11 for the Dukes, who shot 50 percent and hit 4-of-7 three-pointers but committed eight turnovers. In addition to Saddler’s 14 points, Hagins had 10 points and eight boards in the half. Anderson added 11.